A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


YMCA summer camps and after-school programs at the Phinney Center

May 19th, 2016 by Doree

University Family YMCA will offer after-school enrichment programs at an earlier time beginning next fall, to
correspond to Seattle Public Schools’ earlier bell times for most elementary schools. (Most elementary schools will
start at 7:55 a.m. and end at 2:05 p.m.

The Y will provide transportation from Daniel Bagley, West Woodland, Greenwood and Whittier elementaries, and
Salmon Bay K-8. Registration for 2016-17 after-school programs begins on June 6, but you can put your name down now on the “interest list” by emailing universityprograms@seattleymca.org.

The Y is also offering preschool and school age summer camps at the PNA. Register by emailing universitysummer@seattleymca.org.

Camps for grades 1-6:

  • June 27-July 1: Slimy Science
  • July 5-8: Gamesapalooza
  • July 11-15: LEGO Camp: Extreme Star Wars with LEAP4Kidz
  • July 18-22: Artist’s Showcase
  • July 25-29: Grossology
  • Aug. 1-5 (FULL): Magic Camp with Bruce Myers
  • Aug. 8-12 LEGO Camp: Superheros with LEAP4Kidz
  • Aug. 15-19: Yoga Camp with Mindful Movements
  • Aug. 22-26 LEGO Camp: Movie Making, Brick Films with LEAP4Kids
  • Aug. 29- Sept. 2: Drama Camp

Preschool Camps (ages 3-5):

  • June 27- June 1: Little Picasso
  • July 5-8: Music Makers
  • July 11-15: Mighty Jungle
  • July 18-22: Discovering Dinos
  • July 25-29: Itty Bitty Sports
  • Aug. 1-5: Let’s Get Cooking!
  • Aug. 8-12 LEGO: Beginning Building with LEAP4Kiz
  • Aug. 15-19: 3,2,1…Blastoff!
  • Aug. 22-26: Ocean Commotion
  • Aug. 29- Sept. 2: Butterflies, Bees, and Ladybugs

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More than 100 registered yard sales at Saturday’s Garage Sale Day

May 19th, 2016 by Doree

Saturday is the huge PhinneyWood Garage Sale Day, where about a hundred houses in our neighborhood will be hosting garage/yard sales. It’s sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, which has put together a map of all registered sales (the map is not online yet, but will be up before Saturday morning).

Plus there’s a special flea market and tool sale at the PNA, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.; you can recycle electronics with InterConnection; you can shred up to four boxes of paper with Seadrunar Recycling’s shredding truck from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; AND you can swap plants, pots and tools, or pick up some new plants for free. Plus Master Gardeners and Composters will be on hand to answer your questions.

At the end of the day, bring anything leftover to the PNA to donate to Goodwill or Salaam Cultural Museum, a Fremont-based nonprofit organization providing aid and supplies to Syrian refugees.

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Phinney Farmers Market opens June 3 with later hours

May 18th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Farmers Market opens in the upper parking lot of the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., on Friday, June 3. Hours have shifted 30 minutes later, from 3:30-7:30 p.m. This will allow more time for people to leave work and get to the market for ready-made dinners and to pick up their groceries for the weekend.

The Phinney Farmers Market will happen every Friday through Sept. 30.

New vendors at the Phinney Farmers Market this year:

  • Burton Hill Farm (raw goat milk dairy on Vashon Island), selling raw goat milk, farmstead cheese, goat milk soap, lavender calendula salve, and rose lotion.
  • Toste — sweet and savory French toast sandwiches using locally sourced ingredients, organic and free of any preservatives, artificial colors or GMOs.
  • El Chito – Handmade tamales made with local, in-season ingredients (chicken, pork, veggie, vegan), and special breakfast tamales, plus Hibiscus flower ice tea.
  • Old Ballard Liquor Co. — Artisan nano-distillery paying homage to Ballard’s history as a Scandinavian fishing and blue collar neighborhood with old-fashioned liquors and liqueurs like Aquavit.
  • Cascade Farm from Kelso, selling grass-fed lamb and beef and pasture-raised pork and chicken.

SNAP (EBT), WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks, and Fresh Bucks are accepted at all locations run by the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (University District, West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Columbia City, Lake City, Magnolia and Phinney). Fresh Bucks provides a $10 match for all SNAP/EBT users.

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U.S. Small Business Administration offering low-interest federal disaster loans to businesses affected by March 9 natural gas explosion

May 5th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association has received word that the U.S. Small Business Administration has officially agreed to offer low-interest federal disaster loans to businesses affected by the March 9 natural gas explosion that destroyed three businesses and damaged another 50.

Here’s the email the PNA sent to affected businesses:

Yesterday we heard from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) that they are offering disaster assistance to small businesses economically impacted by the Greenwood Gas Explosion.

The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster following a request received on April 29, from Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Small, nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said SBA’s Seattle District Director Nancy Porzio.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Porzio added.

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the disaster only and not on any actual property damage. These loans have an interest rate of 4 percent for small businesses and 2.625 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years, and are restricted to small businesses without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Get help: The Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering free, personalized consulting to help affected businesses in their recovery. Businesses owners may contact the SBDC from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. by telephone at (509) 358-7765.


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Greenwood gas explosion fundraising has exceeded $260,000

April 27th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association reports that fundraising efforts after the March 9 natural gas explosion in Greenwood have exceeded $260,000, and the PNA has disbursed more than $234,000 so far.

Read on for the complete update from the PNA.

Dear Friends of Greenwood,

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two months since the explosion that devastated the center of Greenwood.

Fundraising efforts have reached $260,601, thanks to countless individuals and over 100 businesses who donated or held benefits. We expect more contributions to come in through various fundraisers and charitable organizations, including proceeds from the Bureau of Fearless Ideas’ book Encyclopedia Greenwoodia and proceeds from the auction of the Greenwood plywood murals, which Urban Hands has organized. The auction will take place at Greenwood Square/Upper Crust Catering (8420 Greenwood Ave N), starting at 6 pm (appetizers, bar and social hour at 5 pm) on Friday, May 13 during the BIG One Art Walk.

Here at the PNA, we’ve been working hard with the Greenwood Relief Advisory Board, communicating with the 53 businesses, and all of the employees and residents affected, determining needs and distributing funds.

So far, $234,423 has been disbursed but funds are still needed, as the estimated damage is in the millions. Roughly half of the funds went directly to the displaced residents and the employees who lost work hours because of business closures. The remaining is currently being distributed to businesses based on the amount of damage they suffered. Of the 53 businesses affected, 30 have requested funds for uninsured loss, many have declined assistance because of sufficient insurance coverage and we are waiting to hear back from several businesses who have not responded.

Progress with repairs is moving slowly as businesses, building owners and insurance companies navigate this complicated situation.

We have heard countless expressions of gratitude (including flowers and a pizza!) from those receiving relief, and we are honored to steward the community’s generosity.

PNA continues to welcome donations to the fund, and we will keep it open through fall. You can still donate online or via mail/in-person at 6532 Phinney Ave N., Seattle, WA 98103. PNA will also continue to promote any fundraisers or benefits organized by businesses or groups.

Thank you for your support!

Lee Harper

Executive Director

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Greenwood Relief Fund Updated

April 12th, 2016 by Robin Donovan

Greenwood explosion relief efforts are still underway with an updated list of businesses who have contributed to the Relief Fund. To see the complete list (which continues to grow), or to donate, please visit the Phinney Center website. The original posting with more information can be found here.

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Bureau of Fearless Ideas students reading from Encyclopedia Greenwoodia at Phinney Books Saturday

April 12th, 2016 by Doree

The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas launched its new book “Encyclopedia Greenwoodia” last Saturday to great acclaim, and will hold another reading at 3 pm. Saturday at Phinney Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N.

The book features stories, poems and musings about our neighborhood from 38 BFI students and 15 adults. All profits are going to the Greenwood Relief Fund to help businesses, employees and apartment residents affected by the March 9 natural gas explosion, which also damaged BFI across the street. (They’re currently running all programs out of the Phinney Neighborhood Association until their space is fixed).

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Bureau of Fearless Ideas celebrates our neighborhood with ‘Encyclopedia Greenwoodia’ book launch on Saturday

April 6th, 2016 by Doree

The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth that’s housed within the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. at 8414 Greenwood Ave. N., is celebrating itself and our neighborhood in a big way on Saturday with the book launch of “Encyclopedia Greenwoodia.”

The book features stories, poems and essays by 38 BFI students and 15 adult writers, with a foreword by former Mayor Mike McGinn, who lives just a few blocks from BFI. The book was sent to the printer before the March 9 natural gas explosion that leveled three businesses across the street and blew out BFI’s windows and caused structural damage inside, along with damaging another 50 businesses in a several-block radius. Originally a fundraiser for BFI, all profits of the book will now go to the Greenwood Relief Fund, to help those businesses, employees and apartment residents move on. And they’ve increased the print run, with help from 4Culture, which provided the original grant for the book.


Coincidentally, the first student piece in the book is a short love letter from a BFI student to Mr. Gyros restaurant, which was destroyed in the blast. The first line sets the tone: “Opening the door to Mr. Gyros, I felt it was a place as friendly as a fuzzy bunny.” Other stories feature Gordito’s, the Angry Beaver and G&O Family Cyclery, all three heavily damaged in the explosion.

The book, supported with a grant from 4Culture and printed in Seattle, also includes historic photos from archives at the Museum of History and Industry and the University of Washington, alongside essays relating to neighborhood history. A foldout map shows story locations and neighborhood highlights. There are fictional stories of Greenwood’s past and future, imagined residents and places, sensory reviews of businesses, profiles of notable Greenwoodians, and even mysteries set in the neighborhood.

The book launch and author reading party is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the nearby Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St. (Because BFI was heavily damaged in the blast, the book launch was moved to the senior center and all programs are now taking place down the street at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N.) Books will be available for purchase and also will be sold for $10 at many neighborhood locations, with more author readings coming later this spring.

The book is already getting a lot of press, including from The Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Times.

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Fundraising for those affected by Greenwood natural gas explosion exceeds $234,000

March 24th, 2016 by Doree

The Phinney Neighborhood Association reports that fundraising efforts for the businesses, employees and residents affected by the March 9 natural gas explosion have now exceeded $234,000.

That includes the Greenwood Relief Fund that the PNA set up the following day (which is being overseen by an advisory board), a GoFundMe account set up by a neighbor specifically for employees who lost their jobs permanently or temporarily, and a Fundly campaign that was set up by a neighbor just hours after the explosion (the PNA then stepped in as fiscal sponsor).

The PNA has a Greenwood Relief webpage that lists all ongoing and upcoming fundraisers, resources for those affected, and a link to donate to the Greenwood Relief Fund (overseen by the PNA, with 100 percent of proceeds to be distributed to those affected).

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